New week, new project. As I mentioned last week, we’ve been set a new character project where we create a character duo which both contrast and complement eachother. It’s been a hard and fast start, considering we were set this project on Thursday of last week. I’ve done a lot of work since I started on this project on Monday, and I’m at the point where I’ve started modelling. I’d like to talk you through the events of this week. It’s been a busy one.
So, upon handing in my Sentry Gun on Monday I immediately got on with creating silhouettes for these characters, with pretty much no idea where I was going. As you can see from my thumbs below, I started out my silhouettes with very little inspiration and they are just basic shapes. Then as I created more I started getting a solid idea of where I was going and began to work in greyscale a little. Totally defeating the object of ‘silhouettes’, I know.
I had also created a list of words to use as inspiration for what the occupations, personalities and appearances of my characters could be. It was really helpful because rather than thinking about a million different character designs in my head at once and having a mental breakdown, I could just throw down all these words in a matter of minutes and do the visual stuff later. Circling the silhouettes and words I liked most, I moved on to creating more developed silhouettes;
My favourites were 5 and 14 by far, but I chose 14 because I wanted to model at least one human face this project. I have a naughty habit of avoiding drawing faces on virtually every character thing I do, because well… I suck at faces. I find it ludicrous and slightly scary to think that in the time I’ve been here at DMU I’ve only modelled one human face, for my gladiator. We don’t talk about that project, and no I certainly won’t provide you with a link to it. You can find it yourself.
I jumped straight into more in-depth colour and character ideas. I wrote character traits by their side that I could imagine them having, which would make them contrast further than just their appearance. The first idea I did was my favourite colour-wise, and so I stuck with that one to take to an even more developed level. I played about with proportions of the characters and created orthographics to model from, and did a more finalised but still very simple illustration of them. I changed the colours and details of their outfits a little, but tried to use small aspects such as the red stones around the neck to really tie the characters together.
I opted for a much taller version of my male character, stretching him from 6 to 7 1/2 heads. This immediately gave the character a much more steady, intelligent air about him. The shorter version seems stout and almost comical- something that would have worked with my other character variations, but not here. He would have been more of a brawler, but now he’s a thinker, and a wall of stability for the attitude and sparky nature of the girl.
After a presentation and a review from my peers and tutors, I have gone from wanting to model only the female character, to both. A stylised, mid-low poly modelling style is what I have decided to opt for, which will suit the style of the cartoony drawing I did. I’m really looking forward to going into texturing and getting some nice hand-painted textures done, which I’ve never tried before. Having dabbled in Zbrush and using photo textures, this will be an interesting challenge which very well suits the more mobile oriented direction which the game industry is going in.
I’ve never been one for doing extra curricular activities, because they’re something that I often feel take my time with nothing in return, but this year I’ve thrown myself in head-first and have become a student rep for Game Art Design, and a Game Art Brand Ambassador. Being a student rep means I get in on all the juicy gossip of the course and try to help with the direction the course is taking in it’s humongous re-vamp. It’s a great position to be in and I really like being involved in how Game Art does in the future for the sake of the sanity of students and tutors alike. The Game Art Brand Ambassador thing means I can get paid for helping with advertisement of the course, such as attending open days. On Monday I’ll be heading to a UCAS event in Manchester to talk to prospective students about Game Art at DMU. I’m looking forward to it, but not the early start I have to do to make it to Manchester for 9:30am or the red t-shirt I have to wear.
Deadline for our characters is the first week of December, and I can imagine it’s going to be another crazy rollercoaster of love and hate for game art. I’m interested to see where I’ll be in two week’s time, and I guess there’s only one way to find out. Here we go again.